Today’s Gospel: Matthew 19:16-22
Today’s gospel reading is about the young man who wanted to follow the letter of the law to get to Heaven. But he had to learn that the law goes beyond the mere statement. It must go to both the head and the heart. In other words, we must understand its importance and then take it into our hearts and lives. Unfortunately, when Christ told the young man the final thing he needed to do was to sell all his goods and then follow, it became too much. Where is the commandment that says that? Interestingly, today is the feast of St. Jeanne Delanoue. She was a French woman who, after the death of her mother and father, ran the family business. The Vatican website described her, saying, “Her qualities were remarkable: she was skillful, energetic, and indefatigable, even to the point of keeping the store open on Sundays and holy days.” She was quite the entrepreneur. But unlike the young man in today’s gospel, she was able to walk away from her worldly success and follow Christ by helping the poor. She founded the congregation of Sainte-Anne de la Providence. At her death, St. Jeanne left a dozen communities as well as homes for the poor and schools.
Christ doesn’t ask everyone to walk away from careers and financial success. What He does ask is that we be open to that possibility. Basically, He asks that we trust that whatever He asks is what is best for us. This could be major changes in life or just minor ones.
Is He asking us to pack up and move to another country to take care of the poor? Is He asking us to leave a job and take care of our children or elderly parents? Is He asking us to leave too many activities so we have more time for Him? Is He asking us to leave that last cookie in the cookie jar for someone else? What in my life would be difficult to walk away from to follow Christ more closely?
Lord, I love you. Help me to love you more. Lord, I trust you. Help me to trust you more. Lord, I rely on you. Help me to rely on you completely. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Diane Schwind